Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Planning for Long-Term Health Care? PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 02 April 2012 07:22
Expert Offers Tips for Selecting Insurance Options

Thanks to Baby Boomers and modern medical marvels, more Americans than ever are heading into their senior years, and they’re expected to live longer than ever, too. Barely 50 years ago, our average life expectancy was 62.5 years; today that number has risen to 78.2 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

That means that more Americans than ever will also soon be deciding how to handle their eldercare. Steve Casto, Retirement Income Specialist and author of Is Your Retirement Headed in the Right Direction?, (, says there are important questions and answers to consider before making that critical decision.

“The key thing to balance is the difference between what you think you’ll need and what you can afford between your liquid assets and insurance coverage,” Casto said. “If you don’t start by asking yourself the right questions, you’ll never get to the answers that will lead to a successful long-term care plan.”

Here are some questions – and their answers:

Q. Should I opt for nursing-home or in-home care insurance?
A. When selecting insurance plans, protect against your worst risk first. In-home care is more about maintenance, while care outside the home is focused on crises. Home care is good for when a person needs help getting around. If he has a stroke, he’d need to be cared for outside the home initially, so there is a need for both.

Q. What should I select as my daily allowance?
A. If your health deteriorates, a daily allowance of $100 per day could cover all your care outside the home, but only a third of the care inside the home. Your home-care costs could rocket to more than $400 or more per day, so plan for the worst.

Q. What is an elimination period?
A. Sometimes referred to as the “waiting” or “qualifying” period, this refers to the length of time between the beginning of an injury or illness and receiving benefit payments from an insurer. With long-term care, the typical elimination period is 90 days, which means you are responsible for covering the first 90 days of care on your own. Most people believe that Medicare covers the first 90 days, which is dead wrong. It only covers it under certain conditions, and not all patients meet those conditions, which include:

o A nursing home stay that follows a three-day hospital stay
o Admission to a nursing home within 30 days of hospital discharge
o A Medicare-certified nursing home
o Physician-certified need for skilled care on a daily basis

Your best bet is to be insured through a long-term care policy for that first 90 days.

“These are just a few of the issues,” Casto says. “A good starting point for those planning early is to completely discount the idea of getting a dime from Medicare. Even if it is still around when you need long-term care, the restrictions on Medicare are tightening. You’ll be lucky to get the program to pay for 10 percent of a nursing home stay.

“The real answer is to get a solid long-term care insurance policy that is based on a sound plan.”

About Steve Casto

Steve Casto is founder and president of Strategic Wealth Solutions, Inc. an Omaha, Neb.-based financial firm that manages money for investors in the Midwest. Steve helps clients reduce their tax bill, minimize their risk, and ensure they don’t outlive their money. He’s the author of Is Your Retirement Heading in the Right Direction? and offers presentations on how to increase income while reducing taxes.

Picture book for immigrant women is now available PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by M. McNeil   
Tuesday, 27 March 2012 12:43
Explaining the need for mammograms and pap smears to immigrant women—who don’t speak English—is a challenge for health care workers and those trying to help the immigrants assimilate into a new country.  Thanks to a “Stand Against Cancer” grant there is a new picture book designed to educate the women about the procedures.

A sneak preview of the book will be held Wednesday, March 28th at 9:30 at Church of Peace in Rock Island (1114 12th Street).

The list of attendees at the news event who will be available for interviews include author, Nora Steele, the Stand Against Cancer advocate for this area; Kathy Lemburg from the Rock Island County Health Department; 2 representatives from the Komen Quad Cities group; illustrator, Barbara Crede; Doug Tschopp from Augustana College; Church of Peace Pastor Michael Swartz, Black Hawk College teachers who are instructing the immigrants as well as the students who the book was written for.

WHO:  Immigrant women
WHAT:  Picture book explaining mammograms and pap smears
WHERE:  Church of Peace Rock Island—1114 12th Street
WHEN:  Wednesday, March 28th at 9:30 am.


Support health care reform -- write a letter to the editor PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Tuesday, 27 March 2012 12:09
Friend --

Two years ago today, we passed the Affordable Care Act into law -- and more and more Iowans are reaping the benefits every day.

The numbers speak for themselves: 611,000 people in Iowa have gained expanded coverage for free preventive care, while more than 18,000 young adults are now able to stay on their parents' plans. And more than 1.1 million Iowans no longer have a lifetime limit on the coverage they receive. These are real results.

But a lot of people don't realize just how important the Affordable Care Act is for Iowans, or how much of our progress is at risk in November.

Help spread the word about how health care reform is benefiting you and your fellow Iowans by writing a letter to your local paper.

Using our letter to the editor tool is easy -- it'll help you find your local paper and submit it to the right place in no time. There are even tips and helpful points you can use to make your case.

The folks on the other side are determined to roll back all of the progress we've made: Every one of their candidates has pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They want to go back to the days when insurance companies -- instead of doctors and patients -- were the ones making decisions about our care.

We won't let that happen. It was people like us -- working in our communities, at the grassroots -- who helped pass health reform two years ago, and it's up to us to keep it safe.

The Affordable Care Act is improving the lives of Iowans across the board -- from lowering costs to small businesses, to giving many more people access to affordable, quality coverage. By sharing these accomplishments with our friends and neighbors, we can keep the reform we fought for in our hands.

Help spread the word by writing a letter to the editor:

Thanks for all you do,

Congressman Bruce Braley

Today is the 2 year anniversary of Obamacare - Let's make it's the last! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Amy Kremer   
Friday, 23 March 2012 14:46
There are 3 ways that you can say:
1. Sign the petition  Click Here
2. Attend the "Hands off our Health Care" rally in Washington DC this Tuesday  Details Here
3.  Make a contribution to help fund our efforts to fight Obamacare  Click Here
With the 2nd anniversary of Obamacare today and the U.S. Supreme Court preparing to hear arguments regarding it’s blatant disregard for the Constitution from March 26th-28th, we must remind the Washington politicians that we will NOT stop until Obamacare is defeated!
Join the Tea Party Express in telling Obama and our federal representatives: “Hands Off My Health Care!”
We also encourage you to take a look at the new ad that our friends at Dept. 7 have put together.  It is a response to the Democrat ad showing Paul Ryan throwing grandma off a cliff.  To view the ad click here
Please consider making a contribution to the Tea Party Express so that we can continue to fund operations like these.  Please help by making a contribution of $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or more.

High-Risk Pregnancy: Why Me? PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 23 March 2012 14:35
Understanding and Managing a Potential Preterm Pregnancy

Every year, 1 million U.S. women with high-risk pregnancies are placed on bed rest to protect their developing babies. Despite that, every year, about 500,000 newborns – one of every eight – arrive too early, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Enduring a high-risk pregnancy can be an overwhelming experience of stress, fear and unknowns, leading to more questions than answers. Many of these moms adhere to strict regimes of bed rest; face major changes in lifestyle and relationships; and are subject to dozens of doctor visits and even surgery or medications to protect their unborn children. For them, birth may not be the joy-filled event most families expect.

Knowing those feelings all too well, research scientist Kelly Whitehead wrote High-Risk Pregnancy: Why Me? Understanding and Managing a Potential Preterm Pregnancy (, which is backed by fetal and maternal medicine specialist Dr. Vincenzo Berghella, a top pre-term birth researcher. Whitehead’s first child died following his premature birth. During her next pregnancy, she spent 4½ months in bed worrying over and trying to protect her daughter.

The book is both a medical reference and provides emotional support for mothers-to-be, with Whitehead providing answers in layman’s terms to the myriad medical questions families have. Whitehead also shares coping strategies she discovered, along with what she’s learned through benefit of hindsight, and insights from other mothers.

• Try to enjoy being pregnant. Don’t miss out on this experience because you’re high-risk. Do the normal prego things, even if you have to modify them: Shop online, get a belly cast, shoot expanding-belly photos, and savor those kicks and body changes. Don’t forget or stop dreaming about the actual birth and your desires for what it will be like. I regretted missing out on so much while carrying my daughter. Rather than enjoying the pregnancy, I kept focused on the end and my hope she would survive.

• Don’t let your emotions become your enemy. Say goodbye to guilt – this is not your fault!  It’s okay to be bitter, angry and upset at the world, and to hate “normal” pregnant women, but it isn’t going to change anything. So go get mad, yell, and cry, and then move on.

• Pelvic rest sounds easy, but it isn’t. It’s not fun being forced to become a nun, so don’t. There are still ways to enjoy intimacy; you just need to get creative. Think high school – remember how much fun necking was? Try body oil, a massage…whipped cream? Sexy lingerie is still hot, even if you’re pregnant. Flaunt your new assets - they surely went up a cup size or two.

• Educate yourself about your situation. Don’t go reading about every other possible scenario out there; you don’t need to worry about problems that aren’t a likely issue for you.

• Ask and you shall receive. It may sometimes feel as though people have forgotten about you, but the reality is they’re busy and they have no idea what’s it’s like for you. If you want company, reach out and invite someone over.

“I know it’s tough to be going through a high-risk pregnancy and living in fear every day,” Whitehead says. “Though this will be the toughest time of your life, many of us have been through it and now have our children. You can, too.

“Keep your chin up and keep hoping. Healthy babies are born every day to families who’ve walked the same path.”

About Kelly Whitehead

Kelly Whitehead is a scientist-mom, who lost a preemie son and went on to have two high-risk pregnancies. She wrote High-Risk Pregnancy: Why Me? Understanding and Managing a Potential Preterm Pregnancy as an educational tool and emotional guide for those experiencing a difficult pregnancy and the providers who work with them. She is also a trained doula, birth advocate and spokesperson for Sidelines National High Risk Pregnancy Support Network. For more information, check out

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